Watch CBS News

Emirati woman hockey player realizes dream on NHL ice

Dream on the ice
Emirati woman realizes an unlikely dream on the ice 02:22

WASHINGTON -- It’s not every day you see the Washington Capitals, who have the best record in the National Hockey League, practicing with a woman.

Fatima Al Ali, 27, is the captain of the United Arab Emirates women’s national team. She discovered her passion for hockey six years ago.

“The speed, the scoring, the passing. Everything about it, it’s amazing,” she said. “I love scoring … I’m known back home for doing crazy celebrations.”

Al Ali showing off her trick CBS News

And that’s not the only crazy thing; She is also able to balance a puck on her hockey stick while swinging it around in the air.

Peter Bondra, a former Capitals all-star who was in Abu Dhabi on a hockey good-will trip, saw her and was mesmerized.

“I said ‘wow what’s this?’” Bondra said.

He recorded the trick, posted it, and it went viral.

The Capitals invited her to D.C., and this week she watched her first NHL game. She saw superstar Alex Ovechkin score a goal, and then, she met Ovechkin, her hero, face-to-face.

Alex Ovechkin and Fatima Al Ali CBS News

It was a moment she’ll remember for a lifetime.

The next day it got even better; they skated together.

Fatima Al Ali CBS News

“It’s better than a dream,” Al Ali said.

She loves the game so much that back home she even referees men’s games.

“In my last two games before coming here we had two fights. The first one did not end up well. I got punched in the face,” she said.

But nothing deters from her mission to tell the world, especially girls and young women, how important it is to find your passion.

“Just put out a goal and keep chasing it,” she said.

Set a goal, she says, and never give up.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.